Bird are hiccup-sneezing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SoManyHats, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple days ago, I noticed a couple of my year-old hens were periodically making a noise that sounded like a honking hiccup sneeze (that's the only way I can describe it). I only noticed it in the morning, but I'm not out with them all day, and it seemed worse when they bent to eat and drink. They are stretching their necks out and shaking their heads. Combs seem pale, but I don't see any body parasites, they are laying, and eating and drinking.

    Anyway, this morning half my flock is doing it. First I was thinking gape worm, but does it spread that quickly from one to the next? Are there any diseases with these symptoms?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    My first guess from your symptoms is infectious bronchitis. It will affect 100% of the flock since it is spread through the air by droplets. Fortunately that is not a death sentence like so many other respiratory diseases, since they become carriers for only a year. Symptoms are sneezing and nasal drainage, and a decrease in laying. Very young birds may die or have kidney or reproductive problems later. It is a virus, so antibiotics would only prevent a secondary infection. MG can be a secondary infection sometimes. There are different strains of IB, and you could get a bird tested by your local NPIP state tester or by your vet. If a bird dies, I would get it necropsied by the state vet. Don't get any new chickens or chicks until a year has passed after recovery. Vaccines are availble. If they develop other symptoms like swelling around eyes or face, and have thick foul smelling mucus or bloody mucus, you are not dealing with IB. Her are some links to read:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/78/infectious-bronchitis-ib
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  3. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the links. Reading the clinical symptoms of IB, it doesn't seem to fit my birds. They have not lost their appetites, are drinking fine, are out and about foraging like usual, don't seem depressed or lethargic, and are still laying. They also don't have any apparent discharge from nose or eyes. I'll keep watch for sudden decline in health though. It's a little problematic if it is IB, as I have eggs hatching, chicks in the brooder, and 20 chicks on order for the spring. :(
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Is their feed ration powdery? Powdery feed rations like crumbles can often cause irritation to the throat, making birds honk to clear their throat. How is the humidity in the coop? Is it well ventilated? if you suspect respiratory irritation, I keep Oxine AH sanitizer handy, and have done so for years. It can be used as a fine misting over birds on the roost at night, or in waterers. Here's some more updated info on Oxine uses (thanks seminole):
    OXINE USES FOR THE POULTRY INDUSTRY (revised 3/7/08)



    To get the full power of Oxine, we must retrieve the gas back from its stable salt. This is easily accomplished by simply lowering the ph of Oxine to approximately 2.2—2.5, this is activation. Activation can be accomplishing by using 2 methods:

    1. hand mix the Oxine with citric acid, or

    2. use an automated wall unit that activates the Oxine for larger volume

    requirements (for example—supplying Oxine into the water system for the

    whole poultry barn).


    By activating Oxine you are increasing by 100% the pathogen killing power of Oxine. This is a necessary step to ensure that you are killing Avian Influenza, E.coli, and Salmonella, etc. Activation should be done in a well ventilated area; avoid breathing any fumes. A Moldex face mask, #2500n95, works well for activation.



    DEFINITION OF ACTIVATED OXINE
    1.
    Activated Oxine simply means Oxine that has had an acid added to it.

    2.
    Activated Oxine CANNOT be stored until the appropriate amount of water has been added to it.

    3.
    After the water is added, this solution can be used for 7-10 days.




    OXINE CONCENTRATION LEVELS

    Concentrations Ounces per Gallon

    5 ppm 0.032 fl. oz. use for water sanitation

    200 ppm 1.25 fl. oz. use for removing bio-film,

    and misting

    500 ppm 3.50 fl. oz. use for surface and equipment sanitation.





    Suggested Equipment List to Hand Activate Oxine
    1.
    measuring cup with ounce scale

    2.
    teaspoon

    3.
    tablespoon

    4.
    clean 5 gallon bucket



    Remember, activated Oxine can be stored in a closed container, out of direct sunlight, for 7—10 days.

    OXINE USES IN SURFACE DISINFECTING
    1.
    Measure out 3 ½ ounces of Oxine,

    2.
    Add a tablespoon of activator (citric acid),

    3.
    Stir this mixture and wait 5 minutes (it will turn yellow),

    4.
    IMMEDIATELY pour this mixture into 1 gallon of water.


    You can use this mixture in hatcheries, wall surfaces, cages, etc. Oxine can be applied with a high pressure washer, backpack sprayer, etc. Oxine should be allowed to dry completely; this prolongs contact time to the surface aiding in the destruction of pathogens. Oxine should never be rinsed; it should be applied and allowed to dry.

    Rule of Thumb: ratio of 1 ounce of activator to 10 fluid ounces of Oxine.


    OXINE USED IN POULTRY WATERING SYSTEM

    Oxine is EPA approved for water sanitation for human and poultry consumption. In populated barns make a stock solution* by using 3 to 5 ounces of activated Oxine to 1 gallon of water that will be injected into the watering system. This can be done by using a medicator set at 1 ounce to 128 gallons of water. Oxine treated water kills water borne pathogens and eliminates bio-film (refer to instructions for removal of bio-film). Oxine used continuously through the watering system has consistently shown that it maintains the health and production of broilers, turkeys and laying hens.


    *A stock solution is a highly concentrated mixture of activated Oxine. This mixture must be diluted to obtain the proper parts per million (ppm). This is accomplished by running the stock solution through a proportional type pump or a medicator set at 1 ounce to 128 gallons of water to obtain the desired ppm. Stock solutions are used for water sanitation purposes.


    MISTING OXINE OVER POULTRY
    1.
    Measure out 1 ¼ ounces of Oxine,

    2.
    Add 1 teaspoon of activator (citric acid),

    3.
    Stir this mixture and wait for 5 minutes (it will turn yellow),

    4.
    IMMEDIATELY pour this mixture into 1 gallon of water.


    All ages of poultry can be misted with a solution of 200 ppm (1 ¼ ounces of Oxine to 1 gallon of water). It is recommended to routinely mist for airborne microbes and surface pathogens. A backpack mister, a thermo fogger, or a whole barn misting system can be used for misting. It is recommended that the mist be directed into the cages or at the level of the birds so that they breathe in the mist. Mist the poultry facility until there is a goodly amount of visible fog. This aids in upper respiratory problems and kills surface pathogens.


    DRJ Animal Health, LLC 515-577-9979



    I regularly supplement water with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. The immune system begins in the bird's digestive system. An adequate vitamin C content assists in the absorption of many other nutrients as well as possessing antioxidant power. Avian Super Pack is an excellent quality vitamin mineral supplement and a little goes a long way (1/4 tsp per gallon of water). Probios dispersible powder also serves the digestive system with necessary lactic acid bacteria. This is beneficial for absorption and practical purposes versus the food ingredients that must be sought and added to an already well formulated feed. And it is affordable. Of course, if you are dealing with a viral problem, antibiotics must be used, and birds exhibiting symptoms should be separated from birds not showing symptoms. I hope it is not a viral problem.
     
  5. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info about oxine - I've never heard of it and will do more research. My coop is extremely well ventilated, as it is open air, mostly hardware cloth on two sides and top. I did just change their food though- from Countryside Organics, which is like small pieces of beans and grains, to another organic product that is processed crumbles (only switched because I ran out of CO and can't order for another 3 weeks). How can I know if it's the food other than taking them off of it - but what could I switch them to?
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You could take 1 day's worth of feed, and add a little water to it to moisten into an oatmeal consistency. Offer it to them--most chickens love this, but be sure to remove the leftovers tomorrow, and clean the pan to prevent mold. Infectious bronchitis can sometimes be so mild that the only symptoms are sneezing, and an occasional wrinkled egg or watery whites in eggs. Mold and dusty conditions or feed can also cause sneezing, but it should be more occasional than often.
     
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I use King brand organic layer pellets. I find there's much less waste and no powder. Oxine is good stuff. Revival Animal health sells it for the best price: http://www.revivalanimal.com/Oxine-Fogger-and-Oxine-AH.html I just buy citric acid powder at the grocery store to activate it. I use a regular yard sprayer when cleaning coops and a hand sprayer for cleaning feeders and waterers, misting birds, etc. That's good you have proper ventilation so long as there isn't a cold draft on them at night while roosting. So you don't waste crumbles, Eggcessive's recommendation of moistening feed would work. Randall Burkey has the best price I've seen on Avian Super Pack vitamins: http://www.randallburkey.com/Avian-Super-Pack-_-ASP-4-OZ/productinfo/26094/#.UxpFa8522nQ

    If the respiratory symptoms continue after a day of avoiding powdery feed, you might want to run some L-S50 in the waterers at 1 tsp per gallon of water for 7 days. Here is the product: http://www.randallburkey.com/LS-50-265-oz/productinfo/26085/#.UxpGLs522nQ
    If you lose a bird to sickness, it would be wise to have a necropsy done at a lab. The fee is minimal to nothing for back yard flock owners. Here is a list of labs by state: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/downloads/labs_app.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  8. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An update for anyone who is following this. I confirmed the noise is only in the morning and only while eating. So, I'm going to try to change the food or make it into porridge as was suggested. Other than that, I a going to do what I do when a member of my family is sick - wait and see.
     
  9. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I suspected powdery feed. If I feed a moistened feed, I do it to supplement animal proteins like casein or fish, and just put out enough for them to finish since I don't want it getting rancid, or flies visiting the feed. That's not such a problem when it is still Winter. I use hanging feeders for dry feed, and when most pellets are consumed, I tap out the powder/clean them if necessary before refilling. I'll catch them letting out a few honking coughs on that powder every once in a while.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That is good to know and much easier to cure. Glad you found the probable cause with Michael's suggestion. With IB, you would find more sneezing in the evenings, just like how we people get more congested at night.
     
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